Decathlon expands buy-back scheme for sports gear to promote circular economy

Decathlon will refurbish and resell the products through the scheme.

The initiative, initially launched for own-brand bicycles at the end of last year, will now include more sports categories such as fitness equipment, racket sports, water sports gear and camping equipment.

Customers can complete a quick online assessment to register their return and receive an immediate quote. They can then drop off their product at a Decathlon store to receive vouchers valued at up to 40% of the item’s worth.

Decathlon will refurbish and resell the products. Additionally, customers can get their sports kits repaired at Decathlon stores using genuine parts from an extensive inventory.

The sports retailer estimates that 800,000 products will be bought-back, resold or revived through the service, with more than 1,000 bicycles reported to have been upcycled since the service rolled out in the UK last year.

Research conducted by the retailer found that almost a third of British homes have unused sporting equipment, including popular items like bicycles, weights, gym equipment, footballs, tennis rackets and golf clubs.

Decathlon UK’s sustainability leader Chris Allen said: “At Decathlon we’re all about driving participation in sport and we want to encourage this in the most sustainable way possible.

“Buy-back allows people to realise value from older or unused kit and exchange it for new or refurbished products.”

The announcement aligns with upcoming major sports events such as the Olympics, Euros and Wimbledon, anticipated in the coming months. Decathlon’s research also indicates that 28% of individuals intend to adopt a new sport this year to participate in the surrounding events.

Decathlon’s buy-back service will provide customers with an accessible opportunity to explore various sports at a fraction of the typical expenses, while mitigating waste generation.

This initiative aligns with Decathlon’s broader sustainability efforts, including the launch of its Rentals initiative last year, allowing customers to rent sporting gear for £10 a day.

Looking ahead, the company aims to leverage its global network of workshops, offer buyback options for more than 100 types of sports products, and expand its rental solutions across various regions.

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